Far too often singers neglect their physical condition and only focus on their voice, this is a big mistake especially if you want to be a professional singer. Your body is a musical instrument and you will need to work out in order to strengthen it, focusing on just one aspect of singing like your voice might be detrimental in the long run.
Yes, working out does change your voice by strengthening your lungs and diaphragm which are vital for the spoken or singing voice. In addition to this while you work out your body will produce more testosterone which directly impacts how your voice sounds, usually the more testosterone you produce the deeper your voice gets. Testosterone affects both the male and the female voice, although it is most noticeable in the male voice.
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Working out does, in fact, change your voice, it not only changes your speaking voice but also your singing voice. Although as for how much it will change your voice will be different from person to person and to what kind of work out routine they use. Also, the difference between the two genders will determine how much the voice will change. As a singer, it is a good idea to work out, but do not force yourself too much as it could alter your voice in a negative way.
Generally speaking, most successful singers do have some kind of fitness routine which they try to follow every day. The problem with beginner singers is that they usually tend to focus on the broader aspects of singing like singing in tone and trying to hit the higher notes. Sometimes beginner singers even neglect the importance of a good warm-up session before they actually sing. Some singers do not have any workout schedule as they do not think it is important, however, you should be in top condition if you want to sing to the best of your abilities and the easiest way to achieve this is through diet and regular exercises.
If you have read my recent article Does vaping affect my singing voice? ( 11 ways how it kills your voice ), you probably know that vaping has a lot of negative effects when it comes to the quality of your voice. If you are a vaper my suggestion is to quit as soon as possible and to start working out, it will take some time till your body heals itself but you will get there eventually. As a singer, your main goal is to strengthen your muscles especially the ones that facilitate your singing, although in most cases simply practicing to sing will not be enough to make these muscles grow stronger.
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Working out strengthens your lungs which will change your voice
If you have ever worked out you probably noticed that if you put a lot of effort while lifting weights then your heart starts to beat faster and you also tend to breathe a lot faster and deeper. This simple fact of increased breathing will not only let you strengthen your lungs but also the muscles which contribute to inhaling and exhaling. As a singer, it is vital that you keep your lungs in top condition, as the lungs are your main device that creates your voice.
Beginner singers sometimes face the challenge of not having enough airflow through their lungs which in most cases will result in shortness of breath. If you are one of these singers who is often short of breath, then my recommendation is to read my article to find out what the probably cause might be Causes of shortness of breath while singing ( 11 Most Common Causes ). oftentimes you could fix your shortness of breath by doing some light cardio or by lifting some weights 2-3 times per week.
Working out strengthens your diaphragm which improves your voice
While you might not think that your abs have anything to do with singing, the truth is that you as a singer should always breathe from your diaphragm and this will use your abdominal muscles. Now you do not need a 6 pack in order to correctly breathe by using your diaphragm, but generally speaking, it is a good idea to work out your abs especially if you are singing for prolonged periods of time.
If you have ever noticed that your abs hurt after singing a couple of songs then the good news is that you are using your diaphragm to sing, the bad news is that your abs need to get bigger and stronger in order to not to struggle after only a couple of songs.
Working out strengthens your neck muscles which aid your voice
Most people think that they can simply strengthen their neck muscles by working out different parts of the body, the truth is that you will have to give as much focus to your neck muscles as you give to the other muscles. If you never work out your neck muscles they will not have enough stress on them in order to get stronger. You might think that your neck muscles aren’t very important when it comes to singing, however, if you have strong neck muscles you can control your throat a lot easier and more efficiently.
If you are a beginner singer you probably noticed that after long periods of time singing that your jaw muscles and neck muscles start to hurt. This is mainly because they are not used to that kind of effort and you will need to focus on getting them stronger.
Working out makes your voice deeper
One of the major benefits of working out is that it will, in fact, deepen your voice. While you’re working out your testosterone level will go up and this will make your voice sound deeper. As for how deep your voice will actually get depends on the amount of testosterone your body produces. Generally speaking, you will have to work out for at least one month before you notice any change in your voice. If you want to know how you can get a deeper voice for speaking or singing then check out my article How to make your voice deeper permanently ( In 17 Ways ).
As a side note, you need to remember that males and females are extremely different, while working out females will also increase their testosterone production but not as much as males do. There are some singers like opera singers for who it isn’t advised to work out for the simple fact that it raises their testosterone and alters their voice significantly.
Working out promotes hormonal balance which is good for your voice
Working out will balance out your hormones which are probably unbalanced due to a sedentary lifestyle, and no, singing a couple of songs every day doesn’t mean that you are an active person. In order to be an active person, you will have to work out your main muscle groups like your chest, legs, arms, and back. Our body needs a little bit of stress in order to grow and to improve itself, this is the same for singers.
As you are singing you are stressing your body to improve itself, with enough practice, a good diet, and rest you will find that your voice has improved significantly. This hormonal balance could take some time if you have never worked out than in the first couple of weeks your hormonal balance will be all over the place and every part of your body will try to make you quit.
Working out will make you sound more confident
There are a lot of singers who have anxiety to sing in front of others, the main cause for this is their lack of confidence and their anxiety. By working out regularly you will have increased testosterone and this will make you feel much more powerful and confident. In addition to this after only a couple of weeks of going to the gym, you will feel revitalized after each workout session, usually, this will also increase your energy during the day.
Confidence is extremely important for singers, you have to do what it takes you in order to be confident, my personal recommendation is to sign up to a local gym and give it a go. If you lack the confidence to even go to the gym then your best option will be to work out at home, with good exercises you can achieve similar results in terms of your body and voice as if you were going to an actual gym.
Working out increases your stamina which improves your voice
If you are a beginner singer you probably do not need as much stamina as you will be probably out of breath after 10-15 minutes of singing. However, if you are a professional singer then you probably know how exhausting certain events can get, especially if you are singing live. If you work out regularly your body will expect this from you every day and it will prepare your body while you sleep by storing protein, minerals, and vitamins in your liver and other organs.
This way you will be able to sing for a lot longer periods of time than usual, as your body is accustomed to being stressed with workouts almost every day.
Working reduces anxiety and makes your voice sound calmer
Not a lot of people are speaking about how anxiety is affecting singers, the truth is that any normal person will have at least some anxiety if they have to sing in front of other people, especially if this is their first time. The problem with anxiety is that if you do not work on getting rid of it might become even more severe over the years. Most vocal coaches will tell you to go to sing in front of others and sooner or later you will get rid of your anxiety.
The problem is that singers with anxiety will probably sound awful when singing in front of a crowd and the brain will remember a bad experience and sometimes to an extent that it could even traumatize the person into not ever wanting to go on the stage to sing. My personal recommendation is that you have to take your time, start working out and you will notice that your confidence will go up and your anxiety will slowly fade away.
Working out heals your depression
As a singer life can get very tough, there are a lot of singers who sold everything and moved to LA in order to pursue their dreams of becoming a successful singer. The truth is that most of them will not be successful and once they are left without any savings they will have to get a job at some fast-food joint if they only have a high school degree. At this point it is normal for anybody to get a little bit depressed, some simply plow through it with a poker face but this is not an option for everybody.
You have to find a way to make yourself feel worthy and happy again if you dwell in your depression your life could spiral quickly out of control and if you live in LA you have probably already seen plenty of people who lost everything due to depression. My personal recommendation is to start working out, not only for improving your voice as a singer but also to make your self feel proud and happy, and trust me you will feel fulfilled with joy after each workout, just hang on there buddy you got this.
Working out makes you lose fat which improves your voice
Now you might ask yourself what does being fat have anything to do with singing as there are plenty of overweight singers who have a great voice. True but most successful singers who are overweight are also female which usually have a higher-pitched voice. However, if you are serious about singing you will have to shed your excess fat, the more fat you have the fewer muscles you have which in turn makes you have even less energy, which will impact your singing voice.
Some might think that the excess fat is all energy, the truth is that fat is, in fact, excess energy that has been converted into fat. This is a simple survival mechanism of the human body, in time of plenty the body stores fat for the days where food will not be so plentiful. The problem is that our food has so many calories in just one meal that only a couple of hundred years ago that amount of calories would have been consumed in a couple of days if not a week.
Working out should be an integral part of life for any serious singer, you have to get your body in a good physical condition in order to have the necessary energy, strength, and stamina to be able to sing. If for some reason you as a singer do not work out then you are probably limiting your ability to sing, especially in the long run.